Positive developments on many fronts show God at work with His church.
by Norbert Restrepo
It was a wonderful experience representing Hartland Institute with a booth in the exhibit hall at the General Conference Session. We were also able to advertise Hartland College in the Adventist Review edition for the delegates. God gave us this unique opportunity to share with many what Hartland is all about. Our hearts are also full of praise for the significant events and decisions that took place at this very important session. I will mention a few.
Elder Ted Wilson’s reelection as General Conference president will allow further development of the revival and reformation initiatives that were started during his first term. His spiritual leadership and clear convictions (in areas such as Creation, the Three Angels’ Messages, medical missionary work, mission to the cities, and the historical grammatical method of interpreting the Bible), his firm stand against ecumenism, and his encouragement to remove worldliness from our midst are exerting a positive influence far and wide within the Adventist world. His reelection also helped set the tone for other positive developments during the session.
The revision of Fundamental Belief No. 6 on Creation was another triumph. Wording was added that affirms literal days in the original Creation week. This clear and unmistakable language leaves no ambiguity that could allow a compromise with theistic evolution. Furthermore, this step strengthens our position on the sacredness of the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, thus upholding our distinct understanding of the Three Angels’ Messages.
Fundamental Belief No. 23 on marriage and the family was also enhanced. The approved change removed the term partners that in today’s culture would seem to allow couples to live together out of wedlock and could be interpreted as being in favor of same-sex marriage. The amended statement reiterates the phrase that marriage is between “a man and a woman.”
Other major moves were the vote against allowing divisions to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry, and the “statement of confidence in the writings of Ellen G. White.” As we witness the increasing spiral of last-day events, it is encouraging to see how God is working with His church. We are living in momentous times!